Big Tech Leaders Warn Of 1984 Future?

Mike Mozart via (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/) Flickr

Common ground between tech executives and conservatives is being found over the issue of China’s dominance in the AI race.

Conservatives and the tech industry are always at each other’s throats, Conservatives are constantly worried about censorship on tech platforms and getting blacklisted from payment processors, tech companies fear anti-trust action. Regardless of these issues, there seems to be common ground in China, specifically when it comes to AI development.

From The Daily Wire:

Speaking with BBC’s Panorama, a long-running investigative program with a focus on current affairs, the president of Microsoft claimed that George Orwell’s 1984 “could come to pass in 2024” if legislators fail to build protective systems against artificial intelligence, and that government would find it “difficult to catch up” as the level of technology accelerates.

Brad Smith, who joined Microsoft in 1993 and became the company’s president and chief legal officer in 2015, said, “If we don’t enact the laws that will protect the public in the future, we are going to find the technology racing ahead, and it’s going to be very difficult to catch up.”

“I’m constantly reminded of George Orwell’s lessons in his book 1984. You know the fundamental story…was about a government who could see everything that everyone did and hear everything that everyone said all the time,” Smith continued. “Well, that didn’t come to pass in 1984, but if we’re not careful that could come to pass in 2024.”

This program focused on the rise of artificial intelligence, with a particular focus on China’s use of the technology to control its citizens. One recent example is the bombshell report that “the Chinese Communist government has been testing an artificial intelligence (AI) emotion-detection camera system on Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang.”

The issue of AI has, for a long time, been dismissed as too far in the future to matter, the future is here however and we need to act fast to beat China. AI systems can be incredibly powerful, look at Siri, Bixby, and Cortana, these three systems are not even real AI but many Americans use them to manage there day to day lives.

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